This is a story of my search for an extraordinary woman born into poverty in the early 1760s. She most likely grew up in New York City during the War for Independence and lived there until her death in the late 1790s. She became an actress and a mistress for the sake of survival and her professions brought with them a great degree of dignity and self-respect. Among her clients was Thomas Paine. A man with whom it was rumored that she fell in love with. Her descendant noted that her dying words to her closest friend were, “Thomas where are you?”As a researcher I wanted to know the reality of the Mistress. I discovered in my search a probable and seductive descendant and what turned out to be a more complicated and convoluted experience than I could have ever imagined.